How to Sew Elastic With A Sewing Machine

You can add elastic to the waistband, wrist, or ankle of the dress, depending on the clothes’ style. Sewing elastics on your clothes with a sewing machine should be the easiest thing to do. If you already know how to Sew or Stitch with the sewing machine, this should not be difficult.

However, people still get it wrong and confused about how to go about this easy task. It might be easy, but a little technical, so missing one step, and you have to go and start the process all over again.

How to Sew Elastic With A Sewing Machine

You can see an elastic with your hands or using a sewing machine.  You can sew an elastic material with a sewing machine  by either attaching the elastic to the edge or creating a casing and threading it through. Gentle gathers are better suited to the attachment method and fuller gathers are better created with elastic threaded through a casing.

Steps to Sew Elastic With A Sewing Machine

Sewing elastics is not that of a difficult task, but it requires technical skills. And this is what sewing is all about, the technical skills, required to complete a sewing process. And that is why we have come up with technical setups for you to follow to get it right with sewing elastic. You can use different methods, but this is the most efficient method so far. It is simple, efficient, and anyone can use the technique.

You must follow the steps properly from the beginning. If you fail to get it right from the onset, then everything you are doing is wrong. You should follow the steps, as shown below:

  1. The first step is to identify the wrong side of the garment. That is the side that you will wear inside. Elastic should never be at the right side, or the side that shows out of the dress. So getting it right with the wrong side of the dress and taking the first right will be an amateur mistake if your elastic gets on the right side, and at this stage, you should not be making this mistake. The wrong side is the side that has the thread exposed if you are still confused.
  2. You are going to choose a suitable elastic, either knitted or woven. These are soft elastics, and they will not be so tight on your skin when you wear the clothes. If you are confused about the suitable elastic to use, then you can consult the shop owners or an expert in this area who have an idea of what is needed for all types of materials.
  3. Now that you have identified the wrong side of the clothes and have your elastic ready for use. Cut the elastic to be less than the length of the length of the fabrics to be used.
  4. The elastic should not be as long as the length of the clothes. You should allow the fabrics to draw back, and if they are the same length, you will not achieve the elasticity.
  5. Place the elastics on the wrong side of the clothes, stretch it out on both sides of the seam, and leave it ½” out of the seam. And you would have pinned the elastic on three points at the wrong side of the clothes to hold the clothes.
  6. You can now fold the cloth to cover the elastic, leaving allowance out of the dress and pin them in place.
  7. On the sewing machine, with hands at both ends of the machine, stitch the folder part without necessarily sewing the elastic to the fabrics. The hands holding the material and fabrics down will ensure that they stay in place while sewing.
  8. With the elastic still stretch out, join the seams together at the wrong side and cut off any extension.
  9. You have finished sewing elastic on a fabric with a sewing machine.

Alternative Method Sewing the Elastic With the Machine

As you would have known, there are different methods and patterns in tailoring. While one person may be comfortable and familiar with one design, it may not be the same with another pattern.

An alternative method for sewing an elastic with a sewing machine involves the following steps:

  1. You have to identify the wrong side as usual.
  2. Then cut your elastic to be less than the length of the actual fabrics you will be sewing it on.
  3. But with this alternative method, you are not going to sew the elastic on the fabrics.
  4. You will fold the fabrics and sew the wrong side, leaving a grove on the adjacent side after joining the material.
  5. Then you will get a safety pin, pin it to one side of the grove. Then drag it through to come out of the other side of the grove.
  6. Join the endpoint of the groves and sew it together. And you are good to go.

You should find the method that you are comfortable with and use that method. It would be best if you had a fast technique for you, and you will not make mistakes. There is no preferred method, and all that is required is that you do it accurately and neatly.

Some people may also prefer using hands to stitch the elastic. Using your hand may be stressful, time-consuming, and mistake-prone. I believe those that prefer it are those without a sewing machine or their machine has gone wrong. With the machine, you are getting the stitches right and tight, so it does not pull off.

Sources to Learn Sewing Elastic With A Sewing Machine

People learn different patterns of sewing the elastic on fabrics with a sewing machine. The method you get accustomed to while learning how to sew depends on your source. Below you will find a suitable source where you can learn how to sew elastic with a machine.

  • Apprenticeship

The most common source of this knowledge is through the apprenticeship program, which is the person that taught you how to sew. In learning how to sew, this is one of the necessary skills you will learn from your mentor. You will have to use elastics in various designs and different parts of the clothing as often as possible. It is the necessary knowledge to acquire from your mentor.

  • Online tutorial

There are several videos online where you can learn different methods of sewing. You can search for online tutorial classes on various topics. This is suitable for those who have experience in sewing but need to be brushed up on one issue or the other. And if you are finding it challenging to sew the elastic, you can search on this particular topic and get quick results.

  • Sewing manuals

You can find sewing manuals written by professionals or brands to help their clients find challenging tasks less challenging. These manuals may come along with the machines, or you can get them from stores. They may contain easy tactics of sewing techniques and methods. The purpose of these manuals is to make it easy for users to use their brand machines on their activities. You may find a reliable way of sewing with elastics on the machine and check out if it is suitable for your use.

Related Questions

Do we need to sew elastic on every clothing?

The use of elastic depends on the design, the fabrics, or the preference of the owner. It would be best if you learned how to sew elastic because it will become useful, even though you may not be using it now.

Why do we have to use soft elastics?

Elastic is wound tight on the waist, ankle, and wrist. It should be firmly fixed and not too tight to make you feel uncomfortable.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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